While Vince Guaraldi's piano playing and composing have had a big influence on George Winston's work, there is little sense of direct imitation in this affecting tribute to the man who composed the memorable music for the television specials based on cartoonist Charles M. Schultz's Peanuts characters. Winston's solo piano style is fuller and more reflective than Guaraldi's, a hearty blend of powerful chords and subdued rhythms. It seems to embrace Guaraldi's tunes, both the Peanuts songs, like the title tune and "You're in Love, Charlie Brown," and Guaraldi's other music, like "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" and "Monterey," which seems to blend somber tones with an almost luminous quality. The warmth, wit, and whimsy here evoke memories of the best work of Guaraldi and Schultz.Adam Rains, amazon.com
In 2011, bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Carla Bley led an iteration of the Liberation Music Orchestra in a live concert at the Jazz Middelheim Festival in Antwerp, Belgium. It was partially intended as a warm-up for a forthcoming Liberation Music Orchestra album, a process that had been in the works since 2007. Sadly, Haden died from post-polio syndrome in 2014 before any new LMO tracks could be recorded. Thankfully, Haden, along with his wife, Ruth Cameron Haden, and Bley had discussed his desires for how to finish the album prior to his passing. Furthermore, the 2011 performance, which included two new arrangements earmarked for the planned album, had been recorded for Belgian public radio. All this meant that an album was possible, and in 2015 Bley convened the LMO in a studio to record the new material. Per Haden's request, longtime friend and esteemed bassist Steve Swallow was brought in to play his parts.